Gov. Polis Releases Rural Economic Blueprint

Saturday, November 23, 2019

MONTROSE - Today Gov. Polis released the Rural Economic Blueprint, which outlines ways the administration will continue building a Colorado that works for everyone, especially those outside of the Front Range. This Blueprint will address concerns and challenges in rural communities by leveraging existing assets, building on innovative programs, and increasing efforts to ensure that all Coloradans have the opportunity to thrive. 

“I ran on ensuring a Colorado for all where everyone in our state has the opportunity to thrive. I’m proud of the work we’ve done together to lower the cost of health care in rural areas and provide free, full-day kindergarten, and keep our economy on the right track,” said Governor Jared Polis. “We are excited to unveil our rural economic blueprint, which we believe will lead to more prosperity all across our state from the Eastern Plains to Southern Colorado to the Western Slope. With true collaboration between rural communities and the state, we can truly build a Colorado for All.”

The administration is focused on expanding rural access to broadband services, tackling high health care costs, repairing rural roads and bridges, investing in rural economic development, and supporting farming and ranching communities. 

More than 155 meetings and listening sessions have been held to engage Coloradans by several state agencies, including the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA), Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT), Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE), Department of Agriculture (CDA), and Department of Transportation (CDOT).

“Our rural communities are part of our economic life-blood. This blueprint builds upon Colorado’s current successful rural economic development programs and encourages innovative practices that work,” said Betsy Markey, executive director of the Office of Economic Development and International Trade. “OEDIT’s team is here to support and is a resource for our rural communities.” 

“DOLA’s team works every day to ensure our rural communities have the tools they need to thrive. This blueprint is an important piece of our collaborative efforts to ensure workers are connected to the future economy, rural communities have access to quality housing, affordable health care and are able to expand broadband infrastructure,”  said Rick Garcia, executive director of the Department of Local Affairs. 

“I’m proud to welcome Governor Polis back to Montrose. It’s fitting that the Governor would make this important announcement in our community where we are innovating, investing in our future, ensuring our outdoor economy continues to thrive and our rural quality of life is protected,” said Barbara Bynum, Montrose Mayor Pro-Tem. 

The Governor was joined by Betsy Markey, executive director of the Office of Economic Development and International Trade, Rick Garcia, executive director at the Department of Local Affairs, Joe Barela, executive director of the Department of Labor and Employment, Montrose Mayor Dave Bowman, Barbara Bynum Montrose Mayor Pro-Tem, David Dragoo, owner of Mayfly Outdoors, State Representative Marc Catlin, (R-Montrose), State Senator Don Coram, (R-Montrose), Montrose city council members Douglas W. Glaspelll, Roy E. Anderson, Judy Ann Files, Montrose County Commissioners Sue Hansen and Keith Caddy and San Miguel County Commissioner Hilary Cooper. 

The Rural Economic Blueprint can be found here.

Watch the press conference here.

A media tool kit can be found here and will be updated.